In web design, appearances do matter. The colors, features, and areas within a webpage immediately give an idea of what visitors should expect, all within seconds of the page loading. When you’re designing for a website, the page’s design and appearance matter a great deal about the kind of experience that a user would have.
Your site might have all the necessary functionality, the ability to load correctly on both desktop and mobile, a rolling slideshow of products, and even an IP lookup app that helps you figure out where your visitors are coming from. But all of these things, if not incorporated correctly into the right web design, might not keep visitors on your page in the first place.
There are numerous new styles and trendy designs to apply to your website, but choosing the right one and knowing which features should go up is also critical. Some options may be more effective than others, and you might even be overlooking some crucial design mistakes. And most of these issues result in subliminal effects on your audience.
“But if it works, who cares what it looks like?”
As it turns out, customers care. And they care a great deal about how a site looks on the outset.
- 38% of site visitors will click away if they find the content layout or design unappealing or uninteresting, according to Adobe.
- Visitors make this judgment call in under a second of seeing your website. Visitors only take .5 seconds to take in a website’s design and 5.59 seconds to look at the copy within it.
- First impressions are essential, as 94% of site visitors responded that their first impressions are based on a website’s design.
- 88% of visitors won’t be interested in returning if they didn’t have a great experience. And your web design is an intrinsic part of the customer experience.
- 75% of visitors also judge a company by its web design. For many visitors, a website’s sophistication and layout can tell a company’s prestige and quality.
- Because of this image, 46% of customers judge a company’s credibility (and whether they will make a purchase) based on the appeal and aesthetic.
The image plays heavily into how a potential customer perceives your brand, and the website is a significant part of that. The minor aspects and details of your web design play a prominent role in how the customer will respond to your company and consider purchasing it. Bad websites result in bad user experiences and could become detrimental to a company’s image as well.
Each part of the site design plays a role.
- Colors are seen as representative of your brand. There are different psychological responses to the various colors. Therefore, some colors suit the image the company projects more than others.
- The layout of the web design defines the customer experience by guiding the different site areas. Everything from the menus to the photo placements can affect their experience while browsing. Navigation is part of this area.
- Fonts and typography also affect readability. It also affects whether or not the visitor will retain or react to the information they read.
Achilles heels: the chinks in the armor of great design
When figuring out how your website will look, you first need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and errors you might make. During your brainstorming session, you may be throwing a hundred different ideas out there, trying to figure out what will work, but you might overlook some fatal flaws in your web design. Remember that the goal is to ensure that your site visitors have a stress-free and engaging experience while browsing your site. By working with a great design agency from Chicago, you’ll be able to identify those design flaws easier, while implementing an alluring user experience.
Some of the things causing them problems are:
A cluttered website
In your attempt to have all the impressive bells and whistles possible to draw your customers’ attention, you may be driving them away with overcrowding. Cluttered text, for example, is a big no-no. Being concise and straight to the point on your front page is critical.
As mentioned in the section above, visitors can make a judgment about a website in seconds. They don’t have time to read through everything, and too much text is a repellent. Another way that web design can seem cluttered is when there’s too much happening on a page. Lack of negative space can make the front page seem crowded.
If visitors can’t understand how to go from the front page to the rest of the website, you’re almost guaranteed to be doomed to a high bounce rate. One of the most vital aspects of web design is simple navigation with the viewer in mind. Full menus stacked on full menus, confusing sectioning, missing navigational icons, and other similar mistakes could make it very difficult for users to figure out how to make your site work.
Missing means of communication
Visitors will almost certainly have queries after visiting your site. They will want to ask you about a product, a service, or something that interests them. This is a good thing—it gives you a chance to market better to them. But if they can’t find a way to communicate with you, you lose valuable leads.
Thus, it’s crucial to incorporate a contact us page, an email address, social media links, or even live chat into your web design to ensure that users have an open line of communication with you.
Improper use of color and typography
Keep your color wheel in mind as you arrange your design. Clashing color palettes or overly saturated shades could make your site more of an eyesore than inviting to the person viewing it. Choose the colors that can trigger a psychological reaction in your viewers instead.
Another way that you might be turning your customers off is terrible typography. Typography is the art of carefully stylizing text to make it more attractive or readable. Text with bad kerning (letters too close together), the font’s wrong choices (body text doesn’t have to be in a signature type!), and other typography pitfalls can lead to chaotic web design and not one that your customers would put up with.
Eyes on the prize: design choices that engage and interest the customers
Of course, now that you know what areas to avoid, it’s time to incorporate styles and techniques that do work for customer interest. The goal is to engage the customer, keep their eyes on the page, and compel them to act. An engaging web page maintains the customer’s attention, provides valuable information, and leads the viewer through the sales funnel’s initial steps while fostering an excellent user experience.
Get visual with a quality design
When choosing your website’s ideal web design, you automatically want to gravitate towards something aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing. It has to appear organized, coordinated, with colors that are representative of your brand.
Furthermore, the different areas of the site should establish the correct hierarchy. Not only will this make navigation so much more straightforward, but it also draws the visitor’s eyes towards the ideal places of emphasis.
Don’t overthink it – go simple
Simplicity is a powerful tool; there’s a reason that so many sites are now incorporating a minimalist template design. Plenty of negative space in web design puts the eye at ease and allows people to “lock on” to the parts that your brand wants to emphasize. The text is concise, to the point, using impactful language, so it’s easy to absorb even to a casual viewer. Most of all, the lack of too many bells and whistles allows the customer to explore the site without wading through all the extras.
Go for storytelling
Everyone loves a story. It allows them to understand concepts and facts more easily. Using visual storytelling in your website evokes emotion in your viewers and immediately builds engagement as people relate to it. Storytelling comes from custom images that portray your brand correctly, videos that can say even more than what a single photo could, and informative graphics that make facts and numbers about your product easier to digest.
Direct navigation and a search bar can do wonders
People hate struggling with an interface, so make things simpler. Web design featuring straightforward menus and a search bar that allows users to seek out what they’re looking for directly is a godsend. It directs them to what they want to see immediately, and it will enable you to market to their needs just as fast. They will quickly find the product they need and know that you have a solution to their problem or pain point. Best of all, they got there by themselves.
Be consistent with colors and images
Your site is your identity. When you choose your colors, images, and even when you design your logos, you need to maintain consistency. Not only will it become iconic of your brand, but it will keep customers aware that this is your site, your identity, and this is the image you are trying to project. This will be the same image that they will come to associate your brand and your products with as they shop. Furthermore, having consistent colors and images throughout the site reassures and indicates good quality web design.
Web design isn’t as simple as selecting a color palette and taking a few photos. It’s a site-wide marketing opportunity designed to appeal to your customers. It’s a chance to showcase your brand and company to them while encouraging them to engage. If you give an excellent impression and image of your brand right off the bat, you’re well on your way to drawing an audience of potential, valuable leads.
Illustrations by: sleekbundle.com
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